Thursday, 7 April 2016

What's the matter with kids today?..

In the words of the fifties song 'Why can't they be like were were, perfect in every way? Oh, what's the matter with kids today?'

Kids today don’t know they’re born. Says the man who left school with a load of crumby ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels, pissed and slept his way through polytechnic, got a low paid first job but still managed to get a mortgage in his early twenties and retire mid-fifties on a reasonable, if reduced, pension with two homes and no mortgage or debts.

Yes, kids today have never had it so good and they don’t know they’re born.

It used to be so easy. You went to school, then on to college, and after that you walked into a job, because there were loads of jobs around, and climbed whatever greasy pole you were affiliated to. I never once had to question where I was going because it was pre-ordained, written in the stars. I always knew that I’d have a job in design, get paid for working, be able to buy a house and – because I am fairly sensible – have a pension when I finished working. I didn’t even have to work that hard. Certainly not as hard as a coal miner or some poor targeted person in a call centre. Work for many years was safe and fun. It didn’t set the world on fire, but it was okay, almost a career, almost exactly what it said on the can when I started out.

I hear people complaining about kids today and how they don’t have any interests other than their phones and game consuls and sometimes I’m sucked into that way of thinking too. People are always posting about how their generation climbed trees, played out until it was dark, walked three miles to school each day; and again sometimes I take this higher ground approach to those kids hanging out on street corners and making me feel slightly scared because they are wearing hoodies and trainers.

Of course they will never know why they might need a pencil because they have never owned, or probably even seen, a cassette tape recorder. Why would they and so what?

Kids today know that they’re born. They also know that the expectations of life that I took for granted when I was their age no longer apply. It’s a tougher, more results orientated, much, much more expensive and demanding world than I ever had to deal with. No wonder depression is so common in our young people, no wonder some of them are so angry. Sometimes I wonder how they manage not to scream given the uncertainty of their futures. How do most of them manage to be so accepting? Us oldies should get off their backs and stop being so smug. After all, it isn’t their fault. It’s ours. We made the world that they’ve inherited.

Kids today have never had it so good?

No, that was me. I am one of the lucky generation.


  1. Tim Preston on FB
    Yes I don't think that any kids of any age "has it easy" and each age has it's own set of problems. Nice balanced view Andy smile emoticon

  2. Gloria Brown on FB
    I agree Tim


    1. Andrew Height I've never had to fight in a war or have to live at home until my thirties. I think my lifetime was a relative window of calm compared to most times.

  3. Annette Jones on FB
    What a very good insight.

  4. Iain Marshall on FB
    Excellent piece Andy.....

    1. Andrew Height
      Iain I wouldn't want to be in my early twenties starting out today - well apart from the youth bit that is.

    2. Iain Marshall
      Yep I know exactly what you mean Andy